Statistical information Saudi Arabia 1996Saudi%20Arabia

Map of Saudi Arabia | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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Saudi Arabia in the World
Saudi Arabia in the World


Saudi Arabia - Introduction 1996
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Background: In 1902 Abdul al-Aziz Ibn SAUD captured Riyadh and set out on a 30-year campaign to unify the Arabian peninsula. In the 1930s the discovery of oil transformed the country. Following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 Saudi Arabia accepted the Kuwaiti royal family and 400,000 refugees while allowing Western and Arab troops to deploy on its soil for the liberation of Kuwait the following year. A burgeoning population aquifer depletion and an economy largely dependent on petroleum output and prices are all major governmental concerns.

Saudi Arabia - Geography 1996
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Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 1,960,582 km²
Land: 1,960,582 km²
Comparative: slightly less than one-fourth the size of the U.S.

Land boundaries: Total 4,415 km, Iraq 814 km, Jordan 728 km, Kuwait 222 km, Oman 676 km, Qatar 60 km, UAE 457 km, Yemen 1,458 km

Coastline: 2,640 km

Maritime claims
Contiguous zone: 18 nm
Continental shelf: not specified
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: Harsh, dry desert with great extremes of temperature

Terrain: Mostly uninhabited, sandy desert

Extremes lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
Extremes highest point: Jabal Sawda' 3,133 m

Natural resources:
Natural gas
Iron ore

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 1%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 39%
Forests and woodland: 1%
Other: 59%

Irrigated land: 4,350 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Saudi Arabia - People 1996
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19,409,058 (July 1996 est.)
18,729,576 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
3.45% (1996 est.)
3.68% (1995 est.)

Noun: Saudi(s)
Adjective: Saudi or Saudi Arabian

Ethnic groups:
Arab 90%
Afro-Asian 10%

Languages: Arabic

Religions: Muslim 100%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
43% (male 4,228,660; female 4,103,622) (July 1996 est.)
43% (male 4,065,224; female 3,952,573) (July 1995 est.)

15-64 years:
55% (male 6,393,384; female 4,240,535) (July 1996 est.)
55% (male 6,219,737; female 4,078,001) (July 1995 est.)

65 years and over:
2% (male 227,789; female 215,068) (July 1996 est.)
2% (male 210,669; female 203,372) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
3.45% (1996 est.)
3.68% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
38.32 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
38.78 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
5.36 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
5.54 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
1.55 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
3.56 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: desertification; depletion of underground water resources; the lack of perennial rivers or permanent water bodies has prompted the development of extensive seawater desalination facilities; coastal pollution from oil spills
Current issues Natural hazards: frequent sand and dust storms
International agreements: party to_Climate Change, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified_Law of the Sea
International agreements note: Extensive coastlines on Persian Gulf and Red Sea provide great leverage on shipping (especially crude oil) through Persian Gulf and Suez Canal

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.51 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.06 male(s)/female
All ages:
1.27 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:46.4 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
48.9 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 69 years (1996 est.); 68.5 years (1995 est.)
Male: 67.25 years (196 est.); 66.79 years (1995 est.)
Female: 70.84 years (1996 est.); 70.3 years (1995 est.) (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
6.45 children born/woman (1996 est.)
6.48 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write (1995 est.)
Total population: 62.8%
Male: 71.5%
Female: 50.2%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Saudi Arabia - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Conventional short form: Saudi Arabia
Local long form: Al Mamlakah al Arabiyah as Suudiyah
Local short form: Al Arabiyah as Suudiyah

Government type: Monarchy

Capital: Riyadh

Administrative divisions: 13 provinces (mintaqah, singular_mintaqat; Al Bahah, Al Hudud ash Shamaliyah, Al Jawf, Al Madinah, Al Qasim, Ar Riyad, Ash Sharqiyah, Asir, Hail, Jizan, Makkah, Najran, Tabuk

Dependent areas

Independence: 23 September 1932 (unification)

National holiday: Unification of the Kingdom, 23 September (1932)

Constitution: None; governed according to Shari'a (Islamic law)

Legal system: Based on Islamic law, several secular codes have been introduced; commercial disputes handled by special committees; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: None

Executive branch
Chief of state and head of government: King and Prime Minister FAHD bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 13 June 1982); Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (half-brother to the King, appointed heir to the throne 13 June 1982)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers; dominated by royal family members appointed by the king

Legislative branch: A consultative council comprised of 60 members and a chairman who are appointed by the King for a term of four years

Judicial branch: Supreme Council of Justice

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-19, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Saudi%20Arabia: Green with large white Arabic script (that may be translated as There is no God but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God) above a white horizontal saber (the tip points to the hoist side; green is the traditional color of Islam

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Saudi Arabia - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: This is a well-to-do oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. About 40% of GDP comes from the private sector. Economic (as well as political) ties with the US are especially strong. The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 75% of budget revenues, 35% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings. Saudi Arabia has the largest reserves of petroleum in the world (26% of the proved total), ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in OPEC. For the 1990s the government intends to bring its budget, which has been in deficit since 1983, back into balance, and to encourage private economic activity. Roughly four million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, for example, in the oil and banking sectors. For over a decade, Saudi Arabia's domestic and international outlays have outstripped its income, and the government has cut its foreign assistance and is beginning to rein in domestic programs. For 1996, the country looks to its policies of maintaining moderate fiscal reforms, restraining public spending, and encouraging non-oil exports.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate:
0% (1995 est.)
-3% (1994 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: Accounts for 9% of GDP, 5% of labor force; subsidized by government; products_wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus fruit, mutton, chickens, eggs, milk; approaching self-sufficiency in food

Crude oil production
Petroleum refining
Basic petrochemicals
Two small steel-rolling mills

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate 17% (1994 est.), 20% (1991 est.), accounts for 50% of GDP, including petroleum

Labor force: 6 million-7 million
By occupation Government:

By occupation constructionandoil: 25%
By occupation services: 30%
By occupation agriculture: 5%
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 6.5% (1992 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $35.1 billion (1996 est.); $39 billion (1993 est.)
Expenditures: $40 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1996 est.); $50 billion, including capital expenditures of $7.5 billion (1993 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: Calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

total value. $41.7 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
$39.4 billion (f.o.b., 1993 est.)

Commodities: Petroleum and petroleum products 90%
U.S. 17%
Japan 17%
Singapore 7%
France 5%
South Korea 8% (1994)

Total value:
$21.3 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
$28.9 billion (f.o.b., 1993 est.)

Machinery and equipment
Motor vehicles

U.S. 21%
Japan 12%
U.K. 8%
Germany 8%
Italy 5% (1994)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $18.9 billion (December 1989 est., includes short-term trade credits)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Saudi riyals (SR) per US$1_3.7450 (fixed rate since late 1986), 3.7033 (1986)

Saudi Arabia - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 46 billion kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 2,430 kWh (1993)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Saudi Arabia - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 1.46 million telephones (1993); modern system
Domestic: extensive microwave and coaxial and fiber optic cable systems
International: microwave radio relay to Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Yemen, and Sudan; coaxial cable to Kuwait and Jordan; submarine cable to Djibouti, Egypt and Bahrain; earth stations_5 INTELSAT (3 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean), 1 ARABSAT, and 1 INMARSAT

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Saudi Arabia - Military 1996
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $12.1 billion, 8.5% of GDP (1996; $17.2 billion, 13.8% of GDP (1994)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Saudi Arabia - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 175
With paved runways over 3047 m: 30
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 11
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 22
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 4
With paved runways under 914 m: 13
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 1
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 66
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 24 (1995 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 30
2438 to 3047 m: 11
15-24 to 2437 m: 22
914 to 1523 m: 4
Under 914 m: 13

Airports with unpaved runways
2438 to 3047 m: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 66
914 to 1523 m: 24 (1995 est.)

Heliports: 4 (1995 est.)

Pipelines: Crude oil 6,400 km; petroleum products 150 km; natural gas 2,200 km (includes natural gas liquids 1,600 km)




Merchant marine
Total: 76 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 944,946 GRT/1,322,167 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 13, chemical tanker 5, container 3, liquefied gas tanker 1, livestock carrier 4, oil tanker 22, passenger 1, refrigerated cargo 4, roll-on/roll-off cargo 13, short-sea passenger 9 (1995 est.)

Ports and terminals

Saudi Arabia - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: Death penalty for traffickers; increasing consumption of heroin and cocaine


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